Citizens happy with public safety… mostly

Satisfaction with public safety in Kansas City is average for cities of similar sizes. Overall, folks in Midtown are more satisfied with police, fire and ambulance services than people in the eastern side of the city. Source: Annual citizen satisfaction survey.

Citizen satisfaction with city public safety operations including police, fire and ambulance services was largely the same this fiscal year and overall meshes with the national average, officials reported Tuesday.

Overall satisfaction with the services was 73 percent compared to the 74 percent national average, Board of Police Commissioners were told.

But the numbers were not that high when more specific questions were asked. For instance, 33 percent were not satisfied with the overall feelings of public safety compared to 34 percent for fiscal year 2011.

On the east side of town, 22 percent were not satisfied with quality of police protection this year compared to 18 percent last year. Citywide, the overall dissatisfaction for that category this year was 13 percent.

When it came to visibility of police in neighborhoods, 32 percent were satisfied in the east compared to the overall city number of 49 percent satisfied.

In an unclear statistic, 48 percent citywide were satisfied with parking enforcement compared to 46 percent last year.

Kate Bender, a city management analyst, told commissioners, “This could equate to more ticketing or it could equate to less ticketing.”

Whether one had actual contact with police also seemed to play a role. Among those who called police, 53 percent were satisfied with the quickness of the response but among those who did not call them, 61 percent were satisfied.

In overall efforts to prevent crime, 29 percent of people who were victims were satisfied compared to 42 percent satisfied among others.

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